At an event organized by the Northern Colorado Economic Alliance this week, Governor Hickenlooper said transportation and health care will be the priorities of the 2018 legislative session. He voiced frustration that no health care bills survived this year’s session and said if “we all don’t give a little” health care will suck the money from transportation and higher education.
When asked, he said he thinks a sales tax is the most viable option to fund transportation but also suggested another option might be a special income tax on individuals who make more than $400,000 a year. This idea wasn’t especially well-received by the audience of business people. Why should more affluent people pay for the service we all use?
As Terri Blackmore, the Executive Director of the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization pointed out, people spend more money on their cell phones than they pay for transportation. On average, most Coloradoans pay about $28 a month in gas taxes. Transportation is a utility, just like cell service, the internet, and electricity but voters don’t understand the gas taxes they pay are woefully behind the times and cannot fund the transportation improvements Colorado needs.